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breaking news. a democratic source tells jessica yellin at the white house there is apparently a fiscal cliff deal that is in the works right now. we're also told that the vice president, joe biden, is heading to capitol hill. ali, this could be a dramatic moment that we're watching right now. >> we were told joe biden would only go over when it looked like there was a deal. not only to shore up support for the deal in general with the republicans with whom he has a good relationship, but with democrats, we have heard all day today there have been some democrats dissatisfied by how far they have had to go to get that deal. if you want to read tea leaves, it looks better than it looked a couple hours ago. >> it looks like biden is going to be at this meeting with the democratic caucus. the democratic senators, that's supposed to start in 15 minute. he'll brief them on what's going on. he has some problems, though, with some of the more liberal democrats who apparently aren't very happy with all of the details. let's go up to the white house. jessica yellin, our chief white house correspo
. jessica yellin has the >> reporter: in washington, there is still hope a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday the president was at work here at the white house, but all eyes were up on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures, to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the base line for the president - any bipartisan bill would have to extend unemployment insurance benefits that would affect some two million americans. and it would have to increase taxes on the highest income earners. but negotiators could still work out exactly where those tax increases would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. now in case that deal breaks down, the president has asked democratic leader harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the senate floor. that bill would increase taxes for households that earn 250- thousand dollars or more. now that's a democratic proposal, and you can expect republicans would block it. so rather than thinking of that as a stop-gap measure, think of it as a political move to try to
cliff has been averted. dana, excellent reporting. let's go to jessica yellin, who also has been standing by and watching this very carefully. i think because of what an embarrassing situation this has been, the president, jessica, has to be very careful as to how he plays this now. does he come out and make a speech? does he claim a victory? >> in fact, he will come out tonight, ali. the president will come out here in the press briefing room. we moved in here a little while ago suspecting that this might happen. in fact, the guys are coming out to put the presidential seal on the podium. he will speak at 11:20 eastern time. that's ten minutes from now. and deliver a statement, i'm told, which when they give the guidance that way, it means don't expect him to answer your question when is you shout them at him but can you try. i just want to remind you that he first sat down with congressional negotiators on november 16th, just after he was reelected to first begin discussions to get a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff and he began those discussions to have a grand bargain then.
, excellent reporting. let's go to jessica yellin, who also has been standing by and watching this very carefully. i think because of what an embarrassing situation this has been, the president, jessica, has to be very careful as to how he plays this now. does he come out and make a speech? does he claim a victory? >> in fact, he will come out tonight, ali. the president will come out here in the press briefing room. we moved in here a little while ago suspecting that this might happen. in fact, the guys are coming out to put the presidential seal on the podium. he will speak at 11:20 eastern time. that's ten minutes from now. and deliver a statement, i'm told, which when they give the guidance that way, it means don't expect him to answer your question when is you shout them at him but can you try. i just want to remind you that he first sat down with congressional negotiators on november 16th, just after he was reelected to first begin discussions to get a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff and he began those discussions to have a grand bargain then. you remember it went into that proc
in with the new year. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is getting new details. jess can ka, what are you hearing about that meeting? >> reporter: candy, the president is going to explain or reiterate the position he took on friday, that he would like a plan that extends tax rates for people who make $250,000 and below but raises them for those who make more than that. that it extends unemployment benefits for americans. and if the president, i'm told will say if he does not get an agreement to that plan, he will ask the other leaders what they can agree to, what what they would like instead. if they cannot come up with a proposal that will pass the house and the senate, will ask for a vote on his measure. but that meeting, candy, is still going on. congre congressional leaders arrived at the white house for a last-ditch meeting just days before a new year's deadline. back on the hill, pressure to break the stalemate. >> we've got to demonstrate we have some capacity left to make decisions in washington on these very significant issues for the country. >> if we don't have a
will take effect in days. jessica yellin has the latest. >> reporter: in washington, there is still hope a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday the president was at work here at the white house, but all eyes were up on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures, to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the base line for the president - any bipartisan bill would have to extend unemployment insurance benefits that would affect some two million americans. and it would have to increase taxes on the highest income earners. but negotiators could still work out exactly where those tax increases would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. now in case that deal breaks down, the president has asked democratic leader harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the senate floor. that bill would increase taxes for households that earn 250- thousand dollars or more. now that's a democratic proposal, and you can expect republicans would block it. so rather than thinking of that as a stop-gap measure, think
turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi says she can wrangle all the democratic votes it needs to pass because you would expect a lot of house republicans to vote no, so you need almost all the house democrats to vote yes. if that sounds almost too good to be true, it probably is. >> and then they sing kumbaya. never, ever going to happen. and if it does -- >> reporter: they braid each other's hair. >> you got it. we're more likely to see that. so tell us about the role in this meeting of senator mitch mcconnell. why is he a key role to this? >> reporter: this has been moved over to the senate. and the house has said it has to get through there be
version, which could come at any moment. dana bash and jessica yellin have been following this if feels like for years now. dana, what is the latest on capitol hill? the vote is, what, minutes away? >> probably minutes away. if you look at the house floor right now, dave camp, the chairman of the house ways and means committee is speaking. he is supposed to be the final speaker before we see this vote. hopefully it's not too far away. it has been sort of something that we don't see very much on the floor of us house, which is you have been hearing democrats and republican speaking in support of something and something that is not just passing a post office, it's something that has real consequence and it really has to do with very different positions when it comes to their philosophies on the economy. >> and, jessica, in terms of from the white house, what are you hearing? >> well, they've been watching this all night as closely as we have, anderson, and waiting for final passage. they've been optimistic all day that this would happen but they just want that last vote so they can breath
yellin is cnn's chief white house correspondent. peer into the crystal ball for us, jessica. which of these scenarios is most likely? >> well, ali, i think that after yesterday it's slightly more likely that there will be some sort of agreement. that doesn't mean that there are a whole bunch of optimists running around d.c. saying it's going to get resolved. but what you describe sod well as a moment of spiritual clarity yesterday really did lead some to think that senators reid and mcconnell have done this before. they are two experts at getting together and crafting something that resolves things at the 11th hour. and if any two men with can do it, it is these two men. right now their staffs are working on negotiating that agreement. and so there's some hope that that could get done. i'd say more today than there was when we woke up yesterday morning, ali. >> all right, jessica. you called it jujitsu yesterday. >> yes. >> this is a tough position. the president has taken a tough line. he says i've got a proposal. you don't appear to like it. but you haven't come up with something
but the fiscal cliff has been averted. dana, excellent reporting. let's go to jessica yellin, who also has been standing by and watching this very carefully. i think because of what an embarrassing situation this has been, the president, jessica, has to be very careful as to how he plays this now. does he come out and make a speech? does he claim a victory? >> in fact, he will come out tonight, ali. the president will come out here in the press briefing room. we moved in here a little while ago suspecting that this might happen. in fact, the guys are coming out to put the presidential seal on the podium. he will speak at 11:20 eastern time. that's ten minutes from now. and deliver a statement, i'm told, which when they give the guidance that way, it means don't expect him to answer your question when is you shout them at him but can you try. i just want to remind you that he first sat down with congressional negotiators on november 16th, just after he was reelected to first begin discussions to get a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff and he began those discussions to have a grand bargain then.
chief white house correspondent jessica yellin will be watching. what can we really expect to come out of this meeting this afternoon? >> well, alina, we're not sure what really will come out of it. the ideal scenario would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agree that tax rates are the biggest sticking point. so what specific issues are your sources saying that they might actually address in this meeting today besides tax rates? could they talk about unemployment benefits, spending cuts, what's expected to come up today? >> this is the -- the specific details of the
on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. on a scale of 1 to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that was emanating from the president right now with congress waiting until this last-minute deal. how angry is he? >> well, he definitely was using the bully pulpit to pressure congress to get something done this weekend. i'd say he seemed frustrated, but i definitely have seen him more frustrated, and today he w
and spending cuts will kick n so, let's go now to jessica yellin in washington. jessica has been monitoring events at the white house. you first reported to thanks minority leader mitch mcconnell, vice president bind have been in talks and i'm wondering, with no disrespect to the vice president what can he do? what does he bring? >> reporter: hi, martin. well, he bring morse than 350 years of experience on capitol hill and an ability to make deals. and you know, mick mcconnell, the senate minority leader said he was looking for a dance partner. i guess sort of -- you can think when you get bored dancing with one person, you switch over for a little while and try someone else. i have just been told that at this stage, it is senators mcconnell and biden and senator reid who are now again in the talks, sort of collectively so they are all in discussions broadly. and you know, i don't know, this thing has been dead and alive and dead and alive so many times it is hard to sense where the pulse really is but the vibe i'm picking up from the e-mails i'm getting now, there is an uptick in enthusias
. and that is where the contention is. i want to bring in jessica yellin, our chief white house correspondent. jessica, we talked about chain cpi, this cake up a week ago and the president signaled he might think it's fair. in fact he said it again this morning on one of the sunday shows. that he might be okay with chained cpi. why has this become a point of contention over which the talks may be breaking down? >> because that was in the context of a much larger deal, ali, in which they were making much broader concessions, where democrats were getting more of what they wanted. republicans were conceding other points. that was in the context of a big deal with speaker boehner. now we're talking about the mini deal. the patch to get us through the new year. so democrats argue that this doesn't even have the votes to pass the house and the senate as dana says, it's a quote poison pill in the eyes of the democrats. we can continue to discuss that. i just want to bring awe little bit of news, if i may. while this all is as you put it, i think in very clearly, quote, disgusting and everything is moving ver
following this, every single move. dana bash on capitol hill, jessica yellin at the white house, christine romans live from new york and alison kosik in new york, hearing from folks in a diner. dana, you were up really late into the night, early into the morning here, there is more business to be done and we know at this hour involves the vice president. he's going to be meeting with democrats, house democrats. what do we expect will come interest that meeting? when do we think we'll get something from the house side? >> reporter: well, first of all, right, in 15 minutes the vice president is going to be here on capitol hill to meet with his fellow democrats, in or to sell the deal that he cut. he's going to try to convince particularly the more liberal members of the caucus, that they should vote for this. and that is a concern because talking to senior democratic lawmaker who knows kind of the atmospheric inside, they could lose 30 members of the liberal caucus. that's an important meeting. even more important meeting going to happen 45 minutes later, an hour from now, house republicans
a couple sources telling our chief white house correspondent jessica yel yellin that a possible delay of the sequester is a possibility. what are you hearing is happening right now? >> the big news and this is going to break your rule of what it talks about getting into the politics is what we saw with tom harkin on the senate floor. right now liberals and some prominent democrats are rebelling against what's being reported as the outlines of this it deal. the outlines of some reports are the threshold goes to $450,000, that's taxes would go up for income over $450,000. that's $200,000 higher than obama's campaign promise. there's a short-term extension of unemployment insurance, which would be a win for the white house. and then some kind of compromise on the estate tax. but a lot of democrats, especially a lot of liberals, do not think this is a great deal. that's why you saw tom harkin railing against it. we don't know what the final number is, but right now it looks like if the deal as it's being reported it would be a big victory for the republicans. >> so this is still a work in
in the senate can work things out. jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> alison, christy, hi. well, the good news is, things could have been worse. it does seem those of us watching the sidelines as though time is running out. congress does some of its best, at least the speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall. >> reporter: after a rare oval office meeting, the president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come together, emphasis on modestly. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: all sides left in agreement, at least over their next step. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. >> so on saturday, the senate leaders will try to agree on legislation extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers and fixing the alterna
in on the confusion in the house of representatives. what is he saying? stand by. jessica yellin is over at the white house. 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. now through january 2nd, no monthly payments until spring for qualified buyers. get the silverado for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. and you wouldn't have it any other way.e. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol i
jessica yellin. she's over at the white house with the very latest. the president seems pretty optimistic that it's within a few hours we could have a deal, right? >> reporter: wolf, the people i just spoke to here say they are no more or less optimistic than they were this morning. which is to say they are not cueing the confetti just yet. senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader on the hill, is still talking to the white house. the white house is in constant contact with the democratic leader harry reid. and they're working towards some kind of an agreement. but the white house has all along had -- during these past few days, been somewhat hopeful that they could reach some kind of agreement in the senate. all along, they have been far less optimistic that there would be an agreement that can get through the house. only because from the white house's perspective, from democrats' perspective broadly, they've been let down time and again by speaker boehner. they've never been able to reach a deal with speaker boehner. and now with this news that the house is going to be breaking for
days away. president obama is modestly optimistic. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> reporter: alison, christi, hi. the good news is things could have been worse. it doesn't seem to those of us watching from the sidelines as though time is running out, but congress does some of its best or at least its speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall. after a rare oval office meeting with top congressional leaders, the president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come together. emphasis on "modestly." >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: both sides left an agreement, at least over their next step. >> we'll be, would go hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. some people aren't going to like it. some will like it less, but that's where we are. >> reporter: on saturday they will try to agree on legislation preventing in
losing 150 points. jessica yellin, was any progress made today? was there any movement at all besides this being dropped in the senate's lap? >> randy, by washington standards, that is progress. and i know it's hard to believe but the fact that all these leaders left this meeting in agreement about the next step is a hopeful sign. the good news is that this could have been much worse. they could have come out of the meeting saying it's impossible to reach an agreement, we cannot even begin negotiation, there will be no deal. that did not happen. so the fact that they have a game plan for the weekend and for the next steps, it's better than a lot of people hoped for. so now everyone's holding their breath. >> i guess we have to be thankful for the little things. but how did we get here? we heard the president say today he's mildly optimistic. why? >> that optimism has to do with the fact that it could have been worse, that all the parties in there did want to get to a deal, that they would rather find a way out of this instead of going over the cliff, but the bigger picture is you said
session. the house an hour later at 2:00. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin now with the look at a chance for a deal and what's on the table. >> alison, here in washington, there is still hope a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday, the president was at work here in the white house but all eyes were on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the baseline for the president, any bipartisan bill would have to extend unemployment insurance that would affect some 2 million americans and increase taxes for the highest income earners. but negotiators can still work out exactly where that tax increase would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. in case those discussions break down, the president asked harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or more. now, that's really a democratic proposal and you could expect republicans to block it, so, rather than
in @ event the nation does go over the cliff. >> let's hope for the best. jessica yellin. happy holidays. come to new york. thanks. >>> your top stories, heated political differences are common, but a dispute in albuquerque? that one nearly ended in gun violence. >> drop the gun! >> drop the gun now! >> one man was arrested after pulling a gun on another during an argument over the anti-obama sticker. both the victim and the gunman were military veterans. the victim an older man in his 60s during offense over a bumper sticker on the younger vet's vehicle. a fight escalated and when police arrived shs the older man was on his knees at the back of his head. police got there just in time. >>> and it is not looking good for this 60-foot whale discovered on a new york beach. firefighters yesterday were dousing it with water in an effort to keep it breathing. they haven't been able to get to the beach because of a storm. the whale is emaciated and will likely die soon. the whale was first spotted by a person walking along the beach at breezy point yesterday. >>> starbucks has two words for pol
's turn now to chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. let's talk a little bit about the outlines of the deal, the fact that the president came out to make his case and try to push this thing over the finish line. what does the white house have to do to gain the backing it needs. >> reporter: well, what we heard from the president today just now was really an emphasis that there are a lot of components here for democrats to like because their focus especially is on making sure that -- because i should say democrats really need to come out in force for this to get across the finish line. what you asked is also what is in this measure. tax increase or taxes to -- would go back to the clinton levels for people who make $400,000 a year, or households that make $450,000 a year. and there would be an extension of unemployment benefits for some 2 million americans. we would see an increase in the estate tax, but not an absolute increase to what it was going to be. and they're still working out whether or not there will be a delay in these jump -- these big spending cuts. now, this is --
if congress and president can't reach a deal. jessica yellin is joining us. i have not talked to a soul in the last week who believes that they are actually going to get a deal before january 1st. what is the temperature at the white house at this point? >> reporter: negotiations, candy. what do you mean by negotiations? i can actually report right now, thanks to our own ted baron and dana bash that harry reid, the senate majority leader, and minority leader mitch mcconnell are meeting right now as we speak. perhaps there could be incremental progress. but as you well know, time is running out and the president today spent his day behind closed doors. he did cut his vacation short after he came home from hawaii to at least be here and try to put on some kind of an agreement and as we go over the fiscal cliff, both sides seem to be working hard to do that. the president spoke with congressional leaders from hawaii last night and tried to get a sense of where we are and now it's sort of sits in the hands of the senate and the house comes back into session on sunday before they could get i
second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist being but each also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no, they don't, john, because the white house is hopeful that the agreement that the senators are working on can actually move forward after the meeting here. there is a modest uptick in enthusiasm about that possibility. but as forts backup plan, there's no real likelihood that would ever come to a vote because republicans would likely block it in both the senate and might -- it would likely not come to a vote in the house. so that's really more rhetoric than it is reality and we have to hope for option a, getting an agreement in the senate if we're going to avoid going over the cliff. >> rhetoric versus reality. that's always a tricky place to be in washington. listen, this is some serious high stakes political poker here. what can you tell us about the meeting at the white house today? >> well, we've heard different takes wh
. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a few meetings internally, but mostly, relatively quiet. i expect we will see more from the president, perhaps we could even see him publicly tomorrow. perhaps he could even meet with or talk to some of the congressional leaders. the president's role in all of this, he can get each of the leaders to come closer on what the white house believes is already, pretty clearly, the framework for a final deal, and he can also go out and lobby the american people to pressure congress to get something done. again, the democrats are insistent that they have been clear on the outlines of what a deal would look like, to raise ta
standing by. let's go to our white house correspondent jessica yellin is standing by. it looks like the president is going to get a win out of this. >> yes, wolf, this is what they have been waiting for, but they're not breathing a sigh of relief yet because this is not done till it's done. but they've been watching all day, as we have. this is one time when they're essentially spectators. once this hit a snag, once it went over the house, there was really not much they could do. you know, the vice president was over there this morning talking to house democrats because they knew that ultimately, once it got to the house floor, as dana pointed out, it would be democrats who will have to pass it. he answered a lot of democratic questions and concerns there, took some 20 questions i'm told for 45 minutes, laid out exactly step by step the process by which he negotiated this and got to this point and really made the case, and i'm told by multiple sources who were in the room that he was very persuasive. and the people here at the very highest levels are very confident that the democrat
is joining us, jessica yellin. they've been working their sources as they try to stay ahead of this fast moving story. dana, what are you hearing? >> we have news. that's that the house republicans have decided just to take up the clean senate bill. they're not going to amend it. they're going to take up the bill that passed with a huge majority in the early morning this morning in the senate. all day long, as you just said, back and forth about whether or not they can do that, whether or not to put an amendment on that has spending cuts, which is what many house republicans have been demanding, but the decision after a lot of discussion by the house leadership has led to where they are now, which is in about an hour, hour and a half, we are going to see a final vote on the senate bill, which means this will be over and the fiscal cliff package to avert the fiscal cliff technically, will be donep. >> at least this portion of it. still a lot of spending cuts to get to a couple of months from now. just the beginning of this. just for those folks who have not -- maybe they're recovering fro
hill. chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is on the north lawn tonight. dana, i'll start with you. you listened to big talk on the intro. today was a lot of finger pointing and even more political chicken. but now both sides will be talking to each other tomorrow instead of just at each other. what is the latest on that? >> reporter: that's right. they're going to all be going to the white house. when i say all, i mean the top four congressional leaders, democrats and republicans, to sit down with the president. i'm told by a senior democratic source here in the senate that the expectation is if they can't figure out a path forward over the next three days in this meeting tomorrow, a way to actually pass something to avert the fiscal cliff, then it is very likely, almost definite, that we will go over the cliff. i have to tell you that sources in both parties think that's the likelihood at this point anyway, but this meeting tomorrow is absolutely going to be crucial. and what the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell who you just heard from there, what he's saying he
not entirely clear. let's go to jessica yellin. if you've been watching over the last several hours, you get conflicting information. is there a deal or not? >> the white house is optimistic there will be a deal. republicans in the senate are confident there will be a deal. senate democrats are still holding out for more changes in this deal. and so right now, there's still that last haggling over certain sticking points that democrats want to see in this negotiation. and it's one of the reasons we understand that vice president biden is set to go up there. now, that's once the deal is done and sealed. the reason the vice president would go up there, it's to sort of sell the deal, basically, and answer questions and reassure members about the points in it and also i would expect, about what the administration would do in the future so that they feel that they'll live to fight another day on the big issues that aren't resolved here but they want resolved down the line. >> here is the thing, we have been worrying for the last week that the fact that john boehner and the president would discuss
's chief white house correspondent is jessica yellin. she is following the negotiations, working very hard on this saturday. so jess, democrats and republicans are supposedly working on a plan, even as we speak. what do we know about it? >> reporter: well, we know, don, that it's the senate leaders that are hashing this out. and what they're looking to negotiate is a deal that would extend current low tax rates for middle income americans. we don't know the exact threshold levels. so would it be people who make $400,000 and less, would it be $250,000 and less. but something that would extend low rates and then increase them above. extend probably unemployment benefits and some kind of patch for the alternative minimum tax, probably. probably a fix for the doctor to receive medicare payments. and then some other components. this is just based on prior discussions and what we know each side wanted going in. we don't know about the estate tax and some other elements. and we also don't know if this will all really come together in time. but our people up on capitol hill, ted barrett, lisa de j
, as he goes out to get a sandwich. at potbelly, i believe it was. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. joe biden looked pretty relaxed about this whole thing. how's the white house feeling? >> reporter: what he said actually reflects the mood inside this white house, which is a sense of cautious optimism, despite the stalling and the stop and go up on capitol hill right now. there is a belief here that if nothing else, a need for political survival will motivate the house to get this over the finish line, maybe as early as before midnight tonight. there also is a belief here that they have the democratic votes to get the fiscal deal passed if and when speaker boehner puts it on the floor. there is no doubt here that they have the votes to get it done, and you know, the president himself has said yesterday that this congress takes every last minute when they have it to do something, so there's not actual surprise that this has become such an ugly struggle. what they would expect, i think, is that you would see this spending measure dana was talking about get voted on and
mcconnell as our jessica yellin reported, he reached out to joe biden and that is a sidebar conversation, but an important one, because the two of them have a longstanding relationship, and joe biden was a senator for three decades, and they have worked through the bipartisan deals before and like the actual tax cut extension that happened a couple of years ago and the second thing that you hear claire mccaskill, the democrat, talk about is that republicans are holding out for taxes for the rich. that is something that we heard the president talk about ad nauseam on the campaign trail for over a year, but it really does seem to be a boiling down to those same arguments, and the same philosophical differences behind closed doors and then technically, process-wise, what is going on is that they have to figure out where the threshold is for how high of an income you have to raise enough votes in the house where there is a big republican majority in order to get it to the president's desk. >> a lot of information, dana. standby, because even though the senate has gone home, stil
barrett and jessica yellin and i are told by multiple sources that it does seem that at this point, at this late hour, the talks are primarily centered around and between these two men, between mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, and joe biden, the vice president. harry reid, the senate democratic leader is certainly very well-informed. he's kept apprised of what's going on just as the house speaker on the other side of the capitol is as well but these two men are probably hopefully going to work late into the night, maybe early in the morning to see if they can come up with some way to put this in real terms for americans, some way to avert the taxes for every american going up in a big way starting tomorrow night. >> so it's no burning the midnight oil for the senate because they're gone, and congress now, do we know? >> reporter: the senate has decided to formally -- the senate majority leader harry reid said about an hour ago that effectively there won't be any votes tonight. so the hope for getting a deal today that the senate can vote on which was the hope even goi
the senate in the wee hours of the morning. biden is playing a major role in the negotiations. jessica yellin is at the white house. jessica, what is the mood after the vice president's meeting there? >> reporter: hi, deb. first of all, the vice president's motorcade just got back here to the white house. so clearly work continues. there is a sense still that things are progressing and this is going to come to completion. it's not surprising to anybody that there are concerns by democrats and that some of them would voice them. the vice president's meeting lasted about 90 minutes. obviously if everything was smooth sailing, it would have lasted much less time. so but they're used to that. vice president biden has done these deals now three times. and he goes up there and is sometimes the punching bag and listens to what democrats have to complain about, takes it all on board, explains to them. one person in the room i thk tweeted out and described it as a bit of a filibuster by the vice president. but he is done now and back and the white house is confident. i wouldn't say overly confident, b
and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> you and i are both kind of laughing about that one. so the stumbling block, of course, over raising taxes on the
hoping to come up with some kind of agreement. but time is running out. jessica yellin, she has the latest from the white house. we've got dana bash following the developments on capitol hill. i want to start off with you, dana. what do we know about a possible compromise on the senate siepd what they might be proposed in fairly short order? >> compromise, i'm not so sure we'll see that. but i was told by a republican senator and democratic senator that the pr indicated before he left for hawaii that he, the president, is expected to send a piece of legislation up today with his scaled back tax plan. that's something that the president outlined in general terms on the friday before he left for hawaii and since then what we've been hearing from republicans, particularly mitch mcconnell's office is we can't talk about whether we can pass anything until we actually see the legislation. so our understanding from these sources who are familiar with the call and familiar with the process is that the president will put the plan in legislate lative language. what is the plan? the presid
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